The Marburg Virus

By Debra Mlambo

What is the Marburg Virus?

  • Marburg part of the filovirus family. The five species of Ebola virus are the only other known members of the filovirus family.
  • First recognized in 1967---when outbreaks began to occure in labs in the following cities.( Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany and in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia)
  • During this period 31 people became ill--first the lab workers, then the nurses or doctors that helped them out and the the family members. --7 people died
  • These people who were infected had been exposed to African Green Monkeys, or their tissues while conducting research.
  • The Marburg Virus is a virus that causes hemorrhaging fevers
  • The Marburg virus is a virus that can be passed along from animals to humans (Zoonotic)

Rousettus aegyptiacus----African Fruit Bat

  • About 6 inches long but there wings spread out to about 2 feet
  • Fruit bats found in Africa, India, and Pakistan
  • You can find these bats in lowland, mountains and anywhere else that will host them
  • A group of scientist tested 1100 bats representing 10 species
  • Of the ten only one species had igG antibodies in their sera( Sera is clear yellowish fluid that separates from the clot in blood)
  • These bats had been in mines and caves for a year before they had been tested
  • This virus is completely dependent on this host to survive.

How can I get the Marburg Virus?

Its all about the poop!

  • unprotected contact with bat feces or in general smelling it!
  • After its in a human all it takes is person to person contact such as direct contact with their fluids--saliva, blood, anything!
  • Touching equipment with their infected blood or tissue


  • The Marburg virus causes hemorrhagic fevers
  • Hemorrhagic fevers are illnesses marked by bleeding (hemorrhage), organ failure
  • fever, chills, headache,body aches
  • Around the fifth day you really start to feel like death -- rash, nausea, vomiting, chest pain begins occur, sore throat, abdominal pain, AND FREAKING diarrhea
  • Increasingly sever symptoms --Jaundice(yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes.
  • Your pancreas inflates
  • Severe weight loss occurs, delirium, shock, liver failure
  • massive hemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction.

Prevention of Marburg

  • Avoid fruit bats
  • Avoid any non-human primates in Central Africa
  • wearing of protective gowns, gloves, and masks
  • placing the infected individual in strict isolation
  • And sterilization or proper disposal of needles, equipment, and their excretions aka poop, urine, ect.


  • "Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (Marburg HF)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Oct. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2015.